The jury trial for Michelle M. Blake, which had been set to be heard in Burnett County Circuit Court last week has been postponed until May 2, 2016.
Blake, who had worked as secretary/bookkeeper for St. John the Baptist Church and Sacred Hearts Church from Oct. 2010 to Sept. 2013, had allegedly written 47 checks to herself from the St. John the Baptist’s checking account totaling $42,959.61 and 30 checks from the Sacred Hearts checking account totaling $34,904.22.
Court records also indicate unauthorized withdrawals from the church checking accounts plus unauthorized charges against church credit cards totaled $128,000.
“It has come to our attention that additional and heretofore unknown computer and other evidence has come to light which may be exculpatory in nature — and the computer evidence will require forensic analysis at the Wisconsin Crime Lab,” Bill Norine, Burnett County’s DA, wrote in a letter to Judge Ken Kutz in November. “In the interest of justice, judicial economy and the need for a litigated result that will withstand appeal, the parties request the trial be continued.”
The judge granted the continuance.
The crimes, two counts of theft from a business setting in excess of $10,000, are Class G felonies. If convicted, Blake could face up to $25,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both, per count.